Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Removed from VW's Supervisory Board

Following Monday’s arrest of Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler, Volkswagen announced that the executive has been removed from his position on the group’s Supervisory Board.
Rupert Stadler removed from VW board 1 photo
The carmaker says the decision was made at Stadler’s request and it is only temporary. Volkswagen will wait for the circumstances surrounding Stadler’s arrest to be clarified before taking additional measures. Replacing Stadler on the board, as well as at the helm of the four-ringed brand, would be Abraham Schot, the current head of Audi's sales and marketing division.

“On Tuesday, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft accepted the request of member of the Group Board of Management Rupert Stadler to release him from his duties as member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG,” Volkswagen’s statement reads.

“The release is a temporary measure, put in place until the circumstances surrounding Stadler’s arrest have been clarified. In his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Rupert Stadler was elected to the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG on 1 January 2010.”

“Abraham Schot, who is to take over the position of Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi in the interim, will at the same time be invited to participate in the meetings of the Group Board of Management as a guest.“

In the time that has passed since the arrest, new information surfaced surrounding the circumstances which led German authorities to apply this drastic measure. As per the German prosecutors, cited by Deutsche Welle, Stadler is suspected of having concealed evidence in the now three-year-long emissions scandal. Other charges are pending.

The source says Audi’s CEO is denying the charges held against him. Nevertheless, the arrest was made as German prosecutors felt Stadler posed a flight risk.

Audi is involved in Volkswagen’s emissions scandal ever since its onset. The carmaker is accused of having rigged at least 210,000 diesel cars with a so-called defeat device which allowed them to trick emission measuring tools. The practice is said to go back as far as 2009.

Officially, Volkswagen denies involvement in the scandal at executive levels. Time and time again they pinned the fault on various individuals, despite the mounting evidence that management knew and perhaps even encouraged the practice.

Back in May,  the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) formally charged former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and customers, wire fraud, and conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.


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